Liposuction is mainly used to improve how a person looks, rather than provide any physical health benefits. In many cases, patients would probably achieve the same results, and sometimes better ones if they adopted a healthy lifestyle – good diet, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep every night.
Most Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons agree that liposuction should ideally be used when patients are unable to lose specific areas of fatty deposits even after they have reached their target weight and modified their lifestyle to incorporate regular effective exercise.
When humans gain weight each fat cell increases in size and volume. The actual total number of fat cells in the body does not increase or decrease with weight gain or loss, respectively. Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in isolated areas. How much is removed from a specific area depends on its appearance and the volume of fat. Contour changes resulting from liposuction can be long-lasting, as long as the patient’s weight does not fluctuate significantly.
Liposuction is only done in relatively small areas of the human body. It is not a treatment for obesity or long-term weight loss. It should not be used if the person wants to get rid of stretch marks, cellulite, dimpling, or other skin surface irregularities. Dr. Brenner commonly performs liposuction in combination with other surgical procedures during a Mommy Makeover.
Patients should discuss their weight concerns with Dr. Brenner at the time of consultation. The surgical consultation is a very important time for exchange of information with Dr. Brenner. This is the time that you will inform Dr. Brenner all about you, and also the perfect opportunity for you to ask Dr. Brenner any questions that you may have. .
Liposuction should be considered after a great deal of thought and discussion with Dr. Brenner. Results frequently are and should include subtle changes in contour.
The following body areas are commonly targeted for liposuction treatment:
- Inner knees
- Flanks (love-handles)
- Neckline and the area under the chin (submental)
- Thighs – saddlebags (outer thighs), and inner thighs
- Upper arms
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is performed more commonly on the thighs and abdomen of women, and the abdomen and flanks (sides, love-handles) of men. The best liposuction candidates are those who have good skin tone and elasticity, where the skin molds itself into new contours. People whose skin lacks elasticity may end up with loose-looking skin in areas where the procedure was done.
Liposuction patients need to be in good health. If you are affected by any major medical problems, Dr. Brenner will have you consult with your primary care physician prior to surgery.
Liposuction is sometimes used to treat certain conditions, including:
- Gynecomastia - sometimes fat accumulates under a man’s nipples. Liposuction can remove some of the fat, reducing the swelling.
- Extreme weight loss after obesity – for patients who suffer from morbid obesity, and go on to lose a significant amount of weight (hopefully at least 40% of his/her BMI) through diet modification, exercise and perhaps a gastric band or bypass procedure, excess skin and other abnormalities may need treatment. Frequently liposuction is used in conjunction with open body contouring to correct many abnormalities.
- Lipodystrophy syndrome – fat accumulates in one part of the body and is lost in another. Liposuction can improve the patient’s appearance by providing a more natural looking body fat distribution.
- Lymphedema – a chronic (long-term) condition in which excess lymph (fluid) collects in tissues, causing edema (swelling). The edema commonly occurs in the arms or legs. The fluid accumulation occurs faster than it can be drained away. Liposuction is sometimes used to reduce swelling, discomfort and pain. However, most surgeons tend only to use liposuction with patients who have severe symptoms. After the operation patients have to wear a compression bandage for several months, sometimes up to a year after the operation.